COPENHAGEN – In what is expected to be a groundbreaking four days of textile sustainability events in Denmark in May, the Planet Textiles conference and exhibition can reveal the first speakers of a uniquely diverse and influential line-up for this year's event.
Sandwiched between the two-day annual member meeting of the Sustainable Apparel Coalition and the Copenhagen Fashion Summit, Planet Textiles will feature renowned environmentalist, mountaineer and filmmaker, Rick Ridgeway, Patagonia's vice president of environmental affairs. Ridgeway is joined by a high profile cast which includes organisations such as the Chinese National Textile and Apparel Council (CNTAC) which has chosen Planet Textiles to make its first presentation in the European textile market on the new 5-year plan – and how this plan will impact environmental issues in China's textile manufacturing sector to 2020.
Other confirmed speakers include senior governmental representation from the German Ministry's Partnership for Sustainable Textiles; the European Clothing Action Plan, which will talk about how to embed a circular economy approach to the European clothing sector; along with initiatives from other leading clothing and retail brands such as VF Corporation – which produces 562 million units of clothing per year from over 30 of its brands, including The North Face, Wrangler, Lee, Timberland and Volcom – to name a few.
On the subject of financing sustainability in our industry, delegates will also be able to access a unique breakout forum on Engaging and Empowering the Finance & Investment community. This will be led by the GLASA (Global Leadership Award in Sustainable Apparel) team from the Sustainable Fashion Academy in Stockholm, Sweden.
Presentations on this issue will include social and environmental entrepreneur Vivek Tandon of Aloe Private Equity, whose latest investment is in breakthrough recycling technology, which converts contaminated PET flakes back into their building blocks – virgin grade esters.
There will be further presentations on financial issues in apparel supply chains from fund managers at Swedish-based SEB Asset Management, the Alliance Trust, the US-based Tau Investment and Jason Kibbey, CEO of the Sustainable Apparel Coalition – all as part of the GLASA forum.
There will also be the opportunity for suppliers to take part in a concurrent 'Solutions Forum', which will feature the latest environmental technology and sustainable initiatives for the textile sector including sessions on fibre innovation and transparency.
Marc Gunther, editor-at-large with the Guardian Sustainable Business platform, will moderate the event.
Planet Textiles aims to be a zero waste, innovative and cost effective so that the complete supply chain can be fully involved – whether you are a large or a small brand, business, supplier or a sole trader.
Said MCL director, John Mowbray: "Planet Textiles 2016 will be practical and reveal how we can do sustainability rather than just talk about it. It will also be the first time that three major textile sustainability events – the Sustainable Apparel Coalition's annual members' meeting (9 – 10 May) the Copenhagen Fashion Summit (12 May) and Planet Textiles (11 May) – have convened in the same week at the same venue (Copenhagen Concert Hall).
"This is not necessarily a one-off either, which is why demand for Planet Textiles is higher than ever and we already have over 200+ delegates registered.
"This demand is in large part due to the fact named individual subscribers of Ecotextile News will be allowed to attend Planet Textiles for free! So will members of the Sustainable Apparel Coalition. It promises to be a fantastic, innovative and truly groundbreaking occasion that will provide both practical solutions, advice, and give a unique insight into the new direction in which the global textile industry is now moving quicker than ever."
Due to venue size, places will be strictly limited to around 400 delegates on a first come first served basis.
Planet Textiles is being coorganised by MCL Global, the Sustainable Apparel Coalition and Messe Frankfurt.
Note: as with any event, speakers and timings may change due to unforseen circumstances beyond the control of the organisers.